T-Mobile Seeks FCC OK for 100% Foreign Ownership of Merged Company

Seeks declaratory ruling as part of merger application
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T-Mobile has asked the FCC to declare that it would be OK for Netherlands-based T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telecom to have up to 100% of indirect ownership in a merged T-Mobile-Sprint combo.

The move is likely pro forma, since the foreign entities involved have already been cleared by the FCC to own U.S. wireless licenses.

The Communications Act prohibits a foreign company from owning more than a 25% direct or indirect stake in a common carrier, but the FCC has said allowing ownership in wireless licenses above that would promote competition, T-Mobile noted in seeking the FCC approval.

The request was made in conjunction with the merger application and public interest statement the companies filed this week at the FCC.

Related: T-Mobile, Sprint File With FCC

The FCC has already approved Deutsche Telecom, obviously, since it currently owns T-Mobile. The FCC has also previously said Sprint's foreign investors could own up to 100% of that company. T-Mobile said no new foreign entities not already approved by the FCC are involved in the transaction.

Deustche Telecom would own about 42% of the combined company after closing, and UK-based SoftBank Capital 27%, with the remainder held by public shareholders, none with more than 5%.

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